This week we saw two big factors driving trends in the TCGplayer Marketplace.
The first was last week's release ofStructure Deck: Order of the Spellcasters. The future of Pendulums as a whole, as well as the Endymion monsters and Spell Counters in particular, is impossible to call right now. Some people believe Pendulums are automatically the best deck of this new format. But those players are largely in the minority; most are unsure of the deck's real potential, and skeptical of the Endymion cards in particular.
At the same time the new Endymion cards are very well designed, flat out, and that makes them compelling on a surface level. They look fun, they fixup the Spell Counter mechanic which has largely been really bad ever since it was introduced, and they're smart on card economy and Special Summons.That made an impact and that generated demand.
The second big push-factor this week was of course the new F&L List as it appeared on Tuesday. The new List doesn't give direct boosts to any strategy other than Dinosaurs. What it does instead is knock the top three strategies down a few pegs to widen the field in time for WCQ's. That's not the kind of thing that causes huge sweeping changes in the secondary market– some cards spiked here and there, but there's no obvious "new best deck"or anything.
What the new F&L List did accomplish was to soften the field allowing for more enthusiasm for Pendulums, and of course driving demand for Dinos.And with that in mind we can dive right in and look at our Number 10 bestseller this week, from Monday to Friday…
The F&L List was revealed midway through our Monday to Friday sales period, and Miscellaneousaurus still managed to make it to the Number 10spot. Dinosaurs scored a couple of key Top 8 showings in Philadelphia earlier this month, so there was already some hype for the theme before it turned out that the deck was getting a key starter card back to three. Now that the kid gloves are off and the deck's back at full power again?
The market responded accordingly. Expect to see Dinosaurs in tournaments starting next weekend.
#9: Dinowrestler Pankratops
Along those lines, Dinowrestler Pankratops may become more than just a SideDeck or go-second splashable if Dinosaurs do indeed start taking spots in more tournaments. Ken Lee's Lost World Dinosaur variant Ran not just triple Pankratops, but two World Dino Wrestlings searchable with Terraforming plusa pair of Dinowrestler Systegosaur – a card you probably have to mouse over right now to even recognize.
Pankratops has been one of the bestselling cards of the year ever since it was released. Now that actual Dinosaur decks may actually be maining it, it could become even more popular. Cool stuff.
#8: Amorphage Sloth
On the flip side the new F&L List generated a ton of discussion surrounding Pendulum strategies, which are either irrelevant or entirely broken and about to ruin the game depending on who you ask. The reason for the world-is-about-to-end opinion is this card, combined with AmorphageLechery. Sloth stops Special Summoning from the Extra Deck while Lechery shuts off Spell Cards, a deadly combination that – if it can survive –allows for pretty fast wins in a slew of match-ups.
Enthusiasm for that idea and the hype surrounding it bumped Amorphage Slothinto the Number 8 best seller position, and kicked it up to an averageMarket Price of more than twenty dollars. Will that pan out? It's unclear.But players are clearly going to try and make it work.
#7: Chronograph Sorcerer
Speaking of Pendulums, demand last week for Chronograph Sorcerer continued to be strong through the announcement of the new F&L List. While Pendulums didn't get any direct boosts from the new List nothing happened to keep them from succeeding moving forward, and that seemed to lead to unbridled enthusiasm for key Pedulum cards old and new. In the case of Chronograph Sorcerer it's still yet to be reprinted, and that's kept it hugging the five dollar mark.
#6: Called by the Grave
Uhhh. I mean, Called by the Grave has been in our Top 10 consistently for something like a year now? I don't think we need to repeat the same stuff.You know why it's good.
#5: Mythical Beast Jackal King
Down from the Number 1 spot last week, Mythical Beast Jackal King was still strong at Number 5 as pricing remained consistent. Like Chronograph Sorcerer this is a clutch PendulumMonster that wasn't reprinted inStructure Deck: Order of the Spellcasters, and that's led to an obvious surge of demand as players look to pick up the deck.
#4: Endymion, the Mighty Master of Magic
The new Structure Deck arrived in the TCGplayer Marketplace too late to put in enough preorders to make the Top 10 last week, but this time around the entire Top 4 is all from Order of the Spellcasters. Endymion, theMighty Master of Magic leads the charge at Number 4, packing a greatSpecial Summon effect combined with spot removal, a topnotch negation, a protection ability and a compensatory Normal Spell Card search if it's run over by battle.
There are people on both sides of the question of whether or not this newEndymion has a role in Pendulum decks over the next months. But regardless of the answer to that, it's a quality card with a lot of potential.
#3: Droll & Lock Bird
The Order of the Spellcasters reprint of Droll & Lock Bird is currently about four bucks, with the next most affordable copy being theStarstrike Blast original at fifteen dollars. Lock Bird isn't always played in a given format, but it's still an essential card to have in your collection as a tournament player and that drove it to Number 3 for the week.
#2: Spell Power Mastery
A Reinforcement of the Army for Endymion cards that also loads you up onSpell Counters? It's probably the best Spell Counter support we've ever seen, asking nothing of the player activating it and then rewarding you with free Counters to support all of your effects.
Historically one of the biggest problems with the Spell Counter mechanic is that gathering Spell Counters – or at least gathering enough of them –relied too much on your opponent to activate Spell Cards. You could activate them yourself, sure, but that often wasn't enough to get you where you needed to go. The next biggest problem was that the proactive cards often gave you just one Spell Counter – stuff like Defender, the MagicalKnight and Dark Valkyria powered themselves, once, and then never again.
Spell Power Mastery is entirely proactive, it can generate multiple SpellCounters, and successive copies deliver more and more value. It's a 1-for-1that thins your deck and gets you to your most important cards, then supports those cards with fuel. It's great card design, and the market reacted to it with a ton of demand.
#1: Servant of Endymion
And finally Servant of Endymion was the Number 1 best selling card of the week. Its Pendulum effect is a strong double Special Summon, it can make direct attacks, it buffs all of your Spell Counter cards on a reactive basis, and if it's destroyed it goes back into your Pendulum Zone and brings its Spell Counters with it so you can Special Summon it again.
It's a great card with great timing and was clearly designed with a mind for competitive realities. That reactive Quick Effect timing on its "giveSpell Counters" effect is inspiring; the kind of thing that makes you want to actually give an Endymion deck a real try. And since it only costs a dollar there's almost no risk in grabbing a play set and giving it a shot.That's a winning combination.
Will there be big new winners in the secondary market this weekend? With Regional Qualifiers still being played under the old F&L List, probably not; we're unlikely to see real innovation for another week. But for now we have a good read on player enthusiasm for Pendulums and Dinosaurs, setting at least two parts of the stage for upcoming tournaments.
If there are last minute shifts we'll see them in our next Market Watch next Friday. Until then enjoy the last duels of the current format, and we'll see you next week.